Congo: Blockade of illegal wood export pays off in Congo

posted in: Africa

Brazzaville, Congo (PANA) – The blockade of illegal export of wood from its shores has paid off in Congo, with the government realizing 6,662 billion FCFA at the end of November last year as taxes from forestry, according to an official communiqué released Tuesday.

It said that the amount represented 72.4 per cent of the annual budget of the Forest Economy and Sustainable Development Ministry.

A Congolese top official, Michel Elenga, said the income came as a result of the new index of forest taxes, the Free On Truck (FOT).

As per the new Congolese forest code, all enterprises operating in the forests should pay taxes on 85 per cent of their production before export.

“We blocked the volume of exports that surpassed the said quota at the port at Pointe Noire,” he said.

Congo is one of the six countries in Central Africa that is covered by the forests of the Congo Basin, the second tropical forest in the world after the Amazon, in South America.

Congo’s forest covers 22 million hectares, or more than 60 per cent of the country’s territory.

Wood represents the second most important economic sector after oil in the Congolese economy.

Photo: Green Peace